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Scorpio Bulkers has announced plans to construct an offshore wind turbine installation vessel as the company looks to renewables for growth opportunities.
The NYSE-listed dry bulk shipping company announced Monday it has signed a Letter of Intent for the construction of the vessel with South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) with options for additional vessels.
The Wind Turbine Installation Vessel (WTIV) will be designed by GustoMSC design and includes a 1,500-tonne Leg Encircling Crane (LEC) from Huisman Equipment.
The total project cost is expected to be approximately $265 to $290 million, subject to final design modifications, Scorpio said. The contract is expected to be signed in early Q4 2020 and will include options to construct up to an additional three vessels having similar specifications.
“Scorpio Bulkers is embarking on a new and exciting journey. The world urgently needs to reduce emissions and offshore wind will make a pivotal contribution,” said Emanuele A. Lauro, Scorpio Bulkers’ Chairman and CEO.
Incorporated in the Marshall Islands, Scorpio Bulkers (NYSE: SALT) was launched in March 2013 by the same management team as Scorpio Tankers (NYSE: STNG). The company owns and operates a fleet of approximately 55 mid- to large-size dry bulk vessels, specifically Ultramax and Kamsarmax vessels (62,000 and 82,000 deadweight tonnes, respectively).
Lauro said the new strategic direction in offshore wind will result in higher and more predictable shareholder returns in a “structural growth market.”
According to the company, the offshore wind sector is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 15 percent over the next decade, with a growing shortage of vessels that can install and maintain the next-generation turbines.
“Our transition has begun,” said Lauro.
“Scorpio has a history of executing complex maritime projects and of building teams and expertise to enter new markets. We are fully committed to this new direction as an area of significant value creation for our shareholders and alignment with our multiple stakeholders,” he added.
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